Friday, September 2, 2016


"It can't be developed one corner at a time owing to flat nature, the flood plain nature, that it is," he said.

Local: Gold Coast canegrowers offer up 6,000ha site for city development
About 40 cane farmers on the northern outskirts of the Gold Coast pitch to sell their farms as a block to a major planner and property developer.
Read the full story - see below.

Why should it be developed at all if it is 'flood plain nature'? Why does such land even get to the stage where any development other than perhaps a reserve for water birds might be seriously considered? Does one have to go to Ireland to see such sensible outcomes, complete with hides and an information centre? It is simply astonishing that 'flood plain' does not immediately prohibit any development, especially with the terrible floods that the city of Brisbane has experienced time and time again over the years.

One wonders: will this proposal have to provide boats, lifebuoys and emergency supplies in case of future flooding? Now this question might sound cynically critical of any proposal to develop flood plains, extremely ironic, almost silly, but such conditions have already been placed on one flood plain development in the Gold Coast city area – see: Yes, it is true!

Recently a large block of flood plain has been sold – for development? - at Mudgeeraba in the Gold Coast hinterland. Some years ago, this land was seen completely flooded, under about a metre of water, with raging winds creating high waves across the whole area. Why would anyone develop such a place? Why do governments keep approving development on flood plains when they know the problems floods cause? Why would any insurance company have to provide flood insurance in these locations - known flood plains that are developed?

The flooded city of Brisbane

When will anyone get some sense? There is little wonder that the planning profession is considered so poorly. The world has more planners than ever before, but our towns and cities are not improving.

If it is recognised that there is a 'flat nature, a flood plain nature' now, one wonders what the impact of climate change might be. Is anyone taking this seriously? Surely the idea of planning is to shape futures using the best information available?

Flooding of new development at Tennyson, Brisbane - Why?

Gold Coast canegrowers offer up 6,000ha site for city-style development
By Michelle Rafferty and Matt Eaton
Updated Fri at 7:27am

     MAP: Norwell 4208
     PHOTO: The site is twice the size of Springfield in Ispwich, Mr. Evans said. (Supplied: Canford Property Group)

About 40 cane farmers on the northern outskirts of the Gold Coast have formed a consortium to sell their farms as a block to a major planner and property developer.
Several developers have expressed interest in buying the 6,000-hectare site in the Norwell Valley as the sugar industry becomes less viable.
The area is sandwiched between the Gold Coast and Logan and represents one of the last major tracts of undeveloped land south of Brisbane.
Rocky Point Cane Growers Association chairman Richard Skopp said they wanted the Queensland Government to change the agricultural zoning of the area, because economies of scale meant it was no longer viable to continue cane farming in the location.
"We'd like to see the South-East Queensland Regional Plan change to incorporate higher-end use for this land," he said.
Fellow canegrower and Rocky Point Future Planning Association president David Huth said the size of the area necessitated a single zoning plan.
"It can't be developed one corner at a time owing to flat nature, the flood plain nature, that it is," he said.
The project is in the hands of Canford Property Group, which is seeking a developer with the capacity to develop a satellite city.
Canford managing director Roland Evans said all levels of Government knew the significance of the future for the site, which is twice the size of the Springfield development in Ipswich.
"We've spoken to [Gold Coast City] Council, local MPs, met with the State Government and informed the Federal Government as well," he said.
"We've had support from all levels of government."
Mr Evans said along with housing, the plan was expected to incorporate tourism infrastructure, medical research facilities, an IT facility, an educational area and town infrastructure.
"Let's create the industries of the future for our young people so there is no desire for them to go anywhere else," Mr Evans said.
The State Government is reviewing the regional plan.
LNP Member for Coomera Michael Crandon said he attended a Government briefing about the review 10 days ago.
"To be honest, the response I got was that it is problematic," he said.
"I said we need to stop it being problematic and backing the farmers and giving the farmers a future."
But Mr Evans said the scale of the project made government support inevitable.
"Everyone recognises sugarcane isn't viable now," he said.
State Planning Minister Jackie Trad said she appreciated the Canford Property Group's vision for the development.
"However, as acknowledged by Roland Evans ... finding a buyer is just one part of a long process given the current zoning of the site," she said.
"The redevelopment of this site for urban purposes is not currently consistent with the current planning framework, at both a state and local government level.
"The South East Queensland Regional Plan is currently being reviewed in partnership with all of the SEQ councils."
Ms Trad said while the plan was still being reviewed it was premature to comment on the future of the cane fields.

     PHOTO: Growers in the Norwell Valley said cane was no longer viable. (ABC Landline)

The Grim Toll

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